Gouyave is called the “town that never sleeps” and it does a fine job living up to its name. It is also called the “action city”, and that label also fits like a glove. It is noisy; it is action packed; it is glitter; it is characters that offer impromptu comedy; and it is a delight; it is Gouyave.
Located half way up the western coast of Grenada, Gouyave is a town of approximately nine thousand that prides itself on being the “entertainment capital” of the sensual Spice Isle. Originally known as Charlotte Town, Gouyave is Grenada’s primary fishing village.
What once was a subsistence economy of poor fishermen and rural nutmeg and cocoa farmers has blossomed into a cosmopolitan town with fine houses, glittering bars, attractive nightlife, appealing festivals, and a reputation for its safe yet risqué appeal.
A trip to Gouyave is a must when you visit Grenada. In fact, it has become a favorite destination for tour operators due to its multiplicity of attractions.
In a hurry?… Skip right to Gouyave’s biggest attraction: Gouyave Fish Friday.
Guide to Gouyave
Here is a guide for places you want to hit, in and around the Gouyave area. Assuming you are traveling North from St. George’s you take it in this order:
Places to Visit
- Pappy’s Wine and Liqueur Shop – this is really in Concord but it’s worth a stop to sample and stock up on some fine local made beverages like Grenada Wines and Liqueurs.
- Concord Waterfalls – although the Concord Waterfalls essentially proximate the town, it is still not a primary part of the Gouyave experience though it is often a routine stop en route to “action city.”
- Dougaldston Estate – As you descend from the alternate route of Mt. Nesbitt, (carved due to persistent slides from the Mabouya hillsides that once overlooked the prior main road), you obtain quick access to this historic estate, where remnants of the slave/colonial days still linger.
- Gouyave Nutmeg Pool – everything you ever cared to know about this enchanting spice called Nutmeg you will find here
Gouyave offers more than just agricultural processing. As the primary fishing town, the local beach is dotted with hundreds of small canoes and the waters around the jetties are filled with mid-sized trawlers all frequent visitors to the deep.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds of tuna, marlin, swordfish, and mahi mahi, are caught and marketed from Gouyave’s three fish processing centers each day. Snappers and other small catch such as the flying fish are very popular with locals and visitors.
Consequently, a fish or seafood meal is an inexpensive and very available treat at any of the over one dozen local eateries in Gouyave. A full lunch with an ample portion of fish and vegetables, prepared home style with meticulous care and hygiene, can cost as little as $4 US, and if one desires a smaller portion, it will typically be less than $3.
D’Lance on any night is a hodgepodge of competing sounds from the six or seven bars that dot the quarter mile strip. Often this is where the local characters and resident dancers “perform” informally to the cheers of onlookers no doubt spurred on by consummation of the local spirits (Rivers Rum and Clarke’s Court).
There are several well established clubs where dancing the night away to the sounds of Soca and reggae music, or lately, a generous helping of hip hop, is the action of choice for the locals, many of whom drove in from other parts of the island.
Gouyave has become the hangout town of choice for youngsters from all over the island largely because adults in the town give way to the young and bars readily serve the drinks of their choice, no questions asked.
Gouyave’s Main Events
Gouyave has two main events that you simply can’t afford to miss:
- Gouyave Fish Friday – a weekly event on Friday Evenings that’s sure to get your taste buds screaming for more. It’s more seafood than you can handle in an authentic Grenadian atmosphere
- Gouyave Fisherman’s Birthday Celebration – This one is held annually so you might get lucky if you’re in Grenada the week of June 29th. A little bit of tradition, history, fun and games, carnival type events, and of course more seafood than you can handle
Gouyave on the whole is worth a day…most of all, a Friday. Even the local beach on D’Lance, or the more attractive Palmiste Bay just a mile from the edge of the town to the south, would offer access to the delightful waters of the tranquil west coast.
Finally, a drive from Gouyave to Grenville over the Belvedere hills can be a cool, relaxing treat through some virgin forests and agricultural lands that would take a visitor back to an unspoiled world of yesteryear. All of this makes up the wonders of Gouyave. Come and experience it.